Vegan challenge update 1: what about protein?

One of the things that surprised me the most about the vegan challenge, is just how many items are made with eggs. I had no idea ramen noodles were ‘egg noodles’ so it was a huge shock to find out that the vegetarian ramen I was having wasn’t vegan.

 

Aside from that, I don’t miss meat at all. Granted, it’s only been a week and a bit that I’ve stayed away from meat, but I haven’t found myself craving steak or pork. I do miss eating fish in sushi – vegetarian sushi just isn’t the same!

Weight Loss:

My starting weight was 113.8lb (I gained back all the weight I lost in november over the holidays) – I’ll report back at the end of the month if there’s any change.

What I’m eating:

Cereal or oatmeal with almond milk. Sweet potatoes or quinoa with vegetables. Vegetable concoctions with legumes or beans. Sometimes I’ll add rice noodles if I’m extra hungry. For dessert I have vegan chocolate and soy ice cream. Lots of fruit anytime.

Other Thoughts:

1. Vegetarian options are easy to find when eating out. Vegan options are much harder. Meatless dishes often come with eggs or a cream-based sauce. Vegetarian noodle dishes may be made with egg noodles.

2. Vegan does not mean healthy at all. There are so many snacks I can eat which are ‘vegan’ but deep fried in vegetable oil or completely high in saturated fat (coconut milk ice cream?!). You can definitely gain weight as a vegan just by junk food consumption alone.

3. Even when I over-eat, food digests much quicker. You know that lethargic feeling you get after eating a big meal? That’s largely due to the amount of energy it takes your body to break down animal protein and fats. When I over-eat vegetables or carbs, even though my body feels full, I don’t feel sleepy or tired.

4. I annoy myself when I eat out with friends, “Oh I can’t have this cake because it has dairy in it.” I don’t like when other people have to accommodate my dietary needs, so I feel bad for vegans who do this on a daily basis. Does it get easier? Or do vegans just tend to hang out with other vegans?

What about protein?

Inevitably, I get this question whenever I tell someone I’m not eating meat. The amount of protein recommended for my weight as approximately 41g per day. Let’s see how much non-meat it takes to get 1g of protein. Below is a list of foods that I regularly eat.

1 cup of beans (41g – an average)
1 cup of chickpeas (39g)
1 cup of tofu (20g)
1 cup of quinoa (8g)
2 tbsp of peanut butter (8g)
2 tbsp hemp hearts (6.6g)
1 cup oatmeal (6g)
1 serving (1 oz or 28.4g) of mixed nuts (6g)
2 tbsp chia seeds (6g)
1 cup fibre one cereal (4g)
2 slices whole wheat bread (3.6g – but you can buy bread with much higher protein content)
1 cup of brussel sprouts (3g)
1 cup of kale (2.9g)
1 cup of asparagus (2.9g)
1 cup of broccoli (2.6g)
1 sweet potato (2g)
1 cup of almond milk (1.5g)
1 cup of spinach (0.9g)

For breakfast, I always add hemp hearts and chia seeds into my bowl of cereal. This morning’s cereal, for example, had 18.1g of protein. Lunch is anywhere from 4.6g to 10.2g. As for dinner, 18g-20g. I easily eat 40g of protein a day as long as I make sure to have half a cup of beans/legumes each night.

The first week of being vegan has been much easier than going without social media. I will follow up with that update later this week.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Vegan challenge update 1: what about protein?

  1. Great post, Tracy! I too agree with point 4, i.e. eating out with friends and feeling ‘left out’ with not being able to eat dairy products such as cake, cheese, etc. I’m not sure if that ever gets easier. From what I understand from my ‘complete vegan’ friends, you just have to go without, or you plan ahead and bring your own alternative to the restaurant to eat alongside your friends so that it feels less weird. I tend to find that vegans gravitate towards hanging out with other vegans and therefore eat out at vegan-only restaurants.

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    1. Ah I don’t think I will be able to willingly exclude myself. 😦 Food is a largely social behaviour for me – especially since I’m cutting back on drinking a lot for 2017. Lots of admiration for practising vegans though!!!

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